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Dive deep into The Work That Reconnects to explore your ecological identity. Engage the practice of yoga to integrate the work into your body. Become more interconnected, creative, and tuned into your passionate purpose. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience necessary.
Several accommodation options are available at Earthaven Ecovillage and in the surrounding area.
Always a popular option, participants can camp in the forested Earthaven campground. Most campground sites are designed for two-person tents; some can accommodate larger tents. A few camper van / RV spots (no hookups) are also available (maximum length 28 feet).
The campground offers drinking water, a tarp-covered kitchen with propane burners for cooking and heating water, and dining tables. There is an outdoor shower, outhouse with a composting toilet, and hand washing station. A flush toilet is available nearby. The campground itself has minimal electricity for charging small devices such as phones and mp3 players. The Council Hall is also available for charging small devices, including computers.
Provided by Earthaven community members, options range from solitary huts and cabins to dorm rooms to private rooms in a community member’s home. Although the spaces may differ, all are simple, hand-built eco spaces that will have at least a bed and a composting toilet nearby.
Some spaces will be centrally located, while some will be within a 5 to 15-minute walk of the village center. An outdoor shower in the campground will be available if your accommodations do not have their own shower. Both private and shared are usually available.
You find yourselves alive in an extraordinary time; a time of uncertainty and disconnection, but also a time of great possibility where cooperation, courageous action, and collective movement can cultivate the world you are longing to live in. In these times of ecological, political, and social catastrophe looming on the horizon, it is essential that you dig deep to find your creative will and power to help life jump up and live.
Join SOIL for a weekend of reconnecting with self, other, sacred purpose, and earth. Opening up your hearts and minds to the love, joy, and deep grief you feel for life on the planet allows you to find the strength and wisdom to act on behalf of the earth as catalysts for positive change.
In this retreat, you will draw on the work of Deep Ecology and The Work That Reconnects to ground into your ecological identities, and the practice of yoga to integrate the work into your bodies. You will spiral through the four stages of The Work: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New Eyes, and Going Forth.
You will leave with a re-nourished connection to your bodies, the planet, and your sacred purpose as leaders, changers, and activists. Earthaven Ecovillage in the woodlands of the ancient Appalachian mountains with streams, vital forests, and naturally built infrastructure will serve as the container, mentor, and classroom for this work to unfold within.
Deep Ecology is a holistic, experiential, and embodied approach to moving beyond the Western expression of individualism toward a more integrated way of belonging to the world. It is based on Systems Theory, eco-philosophy, and spiritual views from around the world that can help you graduate from the strictly scientific approach to ecology to embodying your powerful role as an integrated part of the natural world.
Joanna Macy, John Seed, and others have developed this body of work over the last four decades to help guide you towards a more holistic world view and heal broken relationships with your life-sustaining planet. As you lean into your deep connection with life, you connect to your own unique, true nature, to your larger human community, and the web of life; coming to understand yourselves as having a role to play in the collective well-being.
Garrell's yoga sessions are described as Hatha yoga. The sessions are designed for all levels of ability and focus on the harmony of body, breath, and mind. Through a series of asanas (poses), relaxed self-awareness, and movement with the breath, the yoga practice can help promote physical and spiritual well-being, relieving some of the stresses and distractions of everyday life, as well as prepare the participant for meditation practice.
Staying and learning at Earthaven is an adventure! Earthaven is off-the-grid, which means it is not tied into public electricity or water systems, they create it themselves. They derive electricity from hydro (water) power, solar (sun) power, or a gasoline-powered generator, and water from on-land springs and wells. Please be prepared to conserve energy and resources while you are staying with them. Some noticeable differences to prepare for include:
Most SOIL programs take place in the community’s beautiful, hand-built Council Hall, as well as under outdoor canopies and in the woods or on farms. In the spring, summer, and fall, meals are served in the outdoor covered dining area.
It’s very easy to unplug once you arrive because most cell phones don’t get reception in the forest. Participants can drive or walk 1 mile up the road if they wish to use their cell phones. Landline phones are available for short phone calls or emergencies. Internet is available to participants in the Council Hall via ethernet connection (no Wi-Fi). The connection is slower than you might be used to and can be unreliable. SOIL encourages minimal internet usage. There is no community computer provided so you would need to bring your own.
For the past decade, Courtney has traveled the world teaching permaculture and promoting healing through earth connection. She moved from New Zealand back to Appalachia where she now resides at Earthaven Ecovillage. She studied at The Odum School of Ecology and currently practices ecological design and holistic management, and teaches permaculture with Living Systems Design. As a designer and teacher, Courtney’s passion is helping folks sink into a deep sense of belonging to their landscape.
Garrell is an artist, designer, dreamer, and currently a student, practitioner, and teacher of yoga, meditation, and tantra. For the last five years, he has been immersed in a full time, live in tantra / yoga / meditation / permaculture mentorship / teacher training with Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati (Rudolph Ballentine MD), who himself underwent twenty years of intensive training with his teacher, Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Garrell's yoga training has also been influenced by Diane Long a practitioner and teacher of Vanda Scaravelli Yoga.
This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living. Earthaven is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina, on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.
Many of SOIL's programs take place among the homes, kitchens, cottage industries, cozy neighborhood homesteads, sustainable homesites, small farms, forests, and daily lives of the local residents and neighbors at Earthaven Ecovillage and the Taylor Creek Watershed.
This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where students directly engage with regenerative food systems, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of community living.
Earthaven is a rural environment with gravel roads and sloping forest hiking trails. This juvenile eastern hardwood forest is home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna. Among the rhododendron thickets and salamander habitats, there are also some ‘guardian species’ such as poison ivy, brambles, and some poisonous snakes to keep people alert and engaged. The recovering forest ecosystem is fragile and the impact can make a difference in its health. SOIL asks that you respect their biodiversity by not harvesting plants, or killing wildlife. If you are allergic to poison ivy and bee stings, please come prepared.
The summers are warm and humid, the winters are cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year-round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 26 degrees Fahrenheit to 81 degrees Fahrenheit and is rarely below 13 degrees Fahrenheit or above 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it doesn’t get very hot in the summer, it can feel very hot since the humidity is high. It rains pretty consistently year-round with afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and occasional snow in the winter.
Founded in 1994, Earthaven Ecovillage is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse western North Carolina, about 50 minutes southeast of Asheville and 30 minutes southeast of Black Mountain. Home to 80+ residents, the community is dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture. The springs and creeks that traverse the land help welcome and invite you into the flow of what is happening in this serene forested setting.
Earthaven’s mission is to create “a living laboratory and educational seed bank for a sustainable human future.” Earthaven members seek to become empowered, responsible, ecologically literate citizens, modeling a bioregional appropriate culture and valuing sustainable ecological systems, permaculture design, elegant simplicity, right livelihood, and healthy social relations.
Delicious, omnivorous meals are prepared by talented culinary artists from the Earthaven community. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. Snacks and beverages (tea, coffee) are provided. Participants are invited to help with meal clean-up. Many hands make light work. As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Meals are created with seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely-raised, and organic ingredients.
If you have dietary needs beyond the ones listed here, please be prepared to bring supplemental food to support your nourishment and well-being. The kitchen simply cannot accommodate all diets.
A total of nine meals are included: from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.
The Western North Carolina mountains are home to the city of Asheville, known for its culinary, dance, and music scene and its thriving artistic community. The North Carolina mountains offer breathtaking beauty, the nearby section of the Appalachian Trail is among the most scenic of the whole hike and holds unique ecological diversity in their subtropical, temperate, and boreal habitats. The area around Asheville also offers outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and rock climbing.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$300 per person
Asheville Regional Airport
Transfer available for additional US$120 per person
Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$250 per person
Earthaven Ecovillage is located at 5 Consensus Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Be advised that some mapping systems don’t have Earthaven Ecovillage listed by name or address. SOIL, at Earthaven Ecovillage, is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, NC on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.
In order of proximity, please book your flight to arrive at:
There is no public transportation to Earthaven. Plan to rent a car at the airport or arrange a pick-up with SOIL well in advance. It is possible that SOIL could connect you with another participant traveling similarly, but this cannot be guaranteed.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookYogaRetreats.com. All major credit cards supported.
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